Hilton Head Beyond the Beach

Photo by Liz Mitchell

Ten (or more) things to do off the beach

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The clean safe and free beaches are a key feature for many visitors who enjoy pure easy relaxation on Hilton Head. However, beach time should be limited by many for health reasons.  Also, some guests are interested in activities for adventure, exercise or education. Families may want to keep children entertained. Hilton Head beyond the beach is ideal for many. If guests prefer staying busy out of the hot sun of mid-summer or the cool temperatures of mid-winter, a myriad of choices are available.

Biking and of course golfing are primary activities for some visitors, but additional activities are suggested to fill a day or a full week off the beach in any season. Depending on the length of your visit, choose from these suggestions for a true view of the area and so much excitement beyond the beach.

A Day of Water Sports on Hilton Head

Water sports off the beach and on the ocean or the creeks are available in the temperate year-round climate. Boating, sailing, kayaking, surfing, paddle boarding, fishing, touring and dolphin watching are popular. These are easy to find with a number of established companies.

Three Days of Nature Activities

The Sea Pines Forest Preserve  welcomes horseback riders or hikers.  The cool environs beckon for bird watching or fishing. Enjoy viewing native flora and fauna.

Pinckney Island is another nature and forest preserve. It was created on an 1800’s plantation site. The preserve showcases a diversity of wildlife, bird and plant life.

The ACE Basin is one of a kind.  The region is known internationally for the presentation of a rich ecosystem. It’s welcoming for an easy driving tour including small towns, historic churches and plantations. To get up close and personal, take insect repellent. Then try a trail walk, a canoe trip, riverboat cruise or an ecotour led by a biologist. Make it a relaxing day or go for the adventure and paddle your own route. It’s not directly accessible from Hilton Head but close enough to schedule a day’s outing off the island.

Visit Honey Horn to take in the beauty of the trails and gardens on the plantation site. Also,  find an ever-changing variety of exhibits, lectures and special programs in the museum. Check out the tours which depart from here.

Children or adults may enjoy horseback riding at Lawton Stables whether for beginners or on guided trail rides. The petting zoo here is a treat for any city kid too.

The Port Royal Sound Maritime Center is relatively new to the area. This great indoor visit will be interesting and educational for children and adults. It’s  a short drive off the island and easy to access on the route to Beaufort.

An Adult Day Indoors

For an authentic look at history, schedule an afternoon guided tour of Rose Hill Mansion outside Bluffton. The pre-Civil War plantation home is one of the only ones in the area open for regular tours.

An afternoon visit to Island Winery might include a tasting or a special event. Enjoy a refreshing treat away from typical beach days.

Check for a current show or art exhibit at the Arts Center.

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